Household Change and Social Complexity in Prehistoric Korea

Author(s): Rachel Lee

Year: 2017


Household archaeology has made important contributions to the study of large-scale social transformations through the remains of the everyday. This paper examines the role of households, themselves, in the social changes that occurred during the Early and Middle Mumun Pottery Periods (ca. 1500-500 B.C.) in Korea. During this time, incipient social inequality developed alongside another significant change—households that were previously composed of multiple families became single-family units. Excavations of pithouses are presented from Daepyeong and Pyeonggeo-dong, two Mumun settlements from the Nam River region of southern Korea. I examine household changes at these settlements and their relationship with increasing complexity. In particular, I argue that the breakdown of multifamily households raised the potential for competition in Mumun society, ultimately helping to create a sociopolitical context for inequality to develop at densely populated settlements such as Daepyeong.

Cite this Record

Household Change and Social Complexity in Prehistoric Korea. Rachel Lee. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431629)


Geographic Keywords
East/Southeast Asia

Spatial Coverage

min long: 66.885; min lat: -8.928 ; max long: 147.568; max lat: 54.059 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16296